So far My wife and I have been wearing moccasins for a couple of weeks, and it is wonderful; mostly.
This year Julia and I have started bow hunting, and while on a week long trip in pursuit of elk we became convinced by a friend of ours that moccasins are the way to go. She is an experienced hunter, and deadly silent in her soft leather soles. It was clear that she had a much better feel of the forest floor and could avoid snapping twigs far better than the two of us. They are also much more light weight and pliable, which prevents fatigue and strain. (note: initially hiking in moccasins can be more work for your feet, but it is far better than the torque and pull that boots can inflict after a long day on hilly terrain.) After throwing the idea of making moccasins around for quite a while, we finally ordered the Sky Uke pattern from http://www.willghormley-maker.com/Moccasin-Trace.html. It took about two days from start to finish to sew. I think that my next pair will take less time, given that I made some mistakes which required me to re-stitch a couple of times; of course, that comes with the territory of learning a new skill.
Regarding my experience with the moccasins thus far, you should know a little about my foot-story. I have weak lame feet. I have kept my feet locked away in boots for the last six years due to very physical manual jobs. This year I am mostly working around the farm so I decided that it was time to have healthier stronger feet; like the ones I enjoyed in yester-years. Throughout the summer I was unable to enjoy running around outside because my feet were so weak, and I pretty much gave up on going bare. So when I first started wearing my moccasin’s the gravel in the driveway still made my feet a little sore. Outside of that however it was like wearing beautifully wonderful slippers all the time. It was great.
Now as with most things in life, its not all ice cream and sprinkles. My feet have already toughened to the point that gravel isn’t a big deal. But it has also started to rain. My wife does a great job keeping her feet dry through out the day, but I seem to get my feet soaked daily during my morning chore routine. Thankfully I’ve learned that if you are moving around enough, and your feet are flexing and adapting to the terrain, they do a good job of keeping your feet warm. If you stand still on cold ground, your feet are going to be cold, even if dry. Wool socks help. They are really key to cold weather and wet conditions. Also having multiple pairs of moccasins would be really helpful, so you could exchange out the wet ones for dry ones throughout the day, or at least make sure that you can start the day with dry moccasins.
I am realizing that winter is not the best time to wear moccasins. I have done some research
about what the Indians did during the colder months, and in areas like the pacific northwest it seems like they mostly went barefoot. They would put their moccasins on when they stopped to rest, or were back at their dwelling place. So for now I will wear boots to do outside work in the mud and muck, and when its nice, or I am hiking, or going to town I will wear my moccasins.
Thanks for reading, please comment below.